#33 – How to Tie the Improved Clinch Knot

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Going back to the basics with this one. The Improved Clinch knot has to be the most commonly used knot in fishing. Second to maybe tying my shoes, it’s the easiest knot I can think of. With a little practice you’ll be tying this thing with your eyes closed. And although it may be effortless to tie, it is still a dependable strong knot. I highly recommend it if you’re using monofilament or fluorocarbon line. This knot is a little risky with braid due to its tendency to slip (check out the Palomar knot for a great solution to that problem.)

The Improved Clinch Knot

Knot terms to know:

“Tag End” – The end of the fishing line being used to tie the knot.
“Standing End” – The main portion of the line leading back to your rod & reel.

1. Send the end of the line through the eye of your hook, swivel, lure, etc. Give yourself a little slack and wrap it around the standing end about 4 to 8 times. Light line can handle a bunch of wraps, but a heavy line can only be wrapped a few times cleanly.

2. Send the tag end through the opening just above the hook eye below all of the twists that were just created.

3. Send the end of the line back through the opening that was just created in step three.

4. Tighten it down. This step will probably require the most practice to make sure the knot comes together clean and strong. As you hold the hook and pull on your tag end, you can help guide the spiral twists on the main line down toward the hook. If done correctly, the knot should look like a tight little spiral with your tag end slack sticking out. Just cut the tag end within a millimeter or two from the knot and you are good to go!

If you are using fluorocarbon line, be sure to wet the knot (saliva counts) before cinching it down. Fluorocarbon can be very brittle. The moisture will cut down on the friction created by cinching the line down on itself–resulting in a stronger knot.

If you were to tighten the knot down after step 2 you would have a basic Clinch knot. You can get away this this, but why not take the extra half second for more knot muscle, brother!?